Taken with You (Kowalskis) Mass Market Paperback – 25 Mar 2014
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About the Author
"New York Times"and "USA Today" bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and off-roading with her friends and family. You can contact Shannon through her website, www.shannonstacey.com, as well as sign up for her newsletter.
Top Customer Reviews
The characters were wonderfully written. Hailey was really likeable and I was rooting for her from the start. I loved Matt too and the development in their relationship was great fun to read. The humour, teasing banter and chemistry brought a lot of entertainment and I loved the connection between them despite them seeming to be two completely different personalities.
Having not read any of the previous books in the series, although Taken with You can be read as a standalone, I probably didn’t connect with some of the side characters as much as I had hoped. But Shannon Stacey wrote a brilliant story. The pacing was perfect as we’re able to see the development in Hailey and Matt’s feelings without it being rushed or unrealistic. The author also combined heart-warming, emotional moments with humour and difficult not to smile moments in what was a really enjoyable book.
Taken with You was a sweet story, offering the perfect opportunity to escape for a few hours reading. With a positive message about opposites attracting in relationships, this book was just fab. It may have been the first book I’ve read by Shannon Stacey but it definitely won’t be the last.
*Book gifted for honest review.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
What worked for me - Matt - Oh, did I love Matt. Almost as much as Sean (Yours To Keep (The Kowalskis)), and believe me, that is saying something. Matt knows who he is, knows what his issues are, and doesn't care to try to fix them for any woman. If she can't take him the way he is, he doesn't need her. The description of his "girlfriend test" had me giggling and wrinkling my nose at the same time. His ex did a number on his self-confidence, and unfortunately, he sees way too much of his ex in Hailey. When he finally figures out the similarities are superficial at best, he's already kind of burned his bridge with Hailey. He owns his behavior, though, and comes through in a major way. I love a man who can learn from his mistakes.
Hailey is a terrific shero. She is confident, and devoted to her friends, her town and her library. She's wary of getting involved with Matt, as she thinks they are too different. Love the way Hailey has this depth to her, shown by her taking care of Matt's dog (LOVED Bear), and her actions when there is an emergency. Hailey nailed Matt on his jerkfulness with precision and honesty. She didn't get hysterical. She was angry, she let him know it, and I was all "You go, girl!" Yeah, I really liked Hailey a lot.
The writing was, as always, sharp, well thought out, and honest. And, often, laugh out loud funny. I love how Ms. Stacey exposes the vulnerability of her characters in a way that is often a little uncomfortable, but utterly realistic. Emotions are messy, and harsh, and illogical. When her heroes finally understand why they are being tools, the revelation feels natural and earned.
The secondary characters played just the right roles, in just the right measure. Perfection. Loved Matt's dad. Can't wait for Max's turn.
What didn't work as well - Not one thing.
Bottom line - Time and money extremely well spent. I loved Taken with You. Highly recommend anything by Shannon Stacey.
Hailey Genest loves her life in tiny Whitford, Maine, but there's one problem - the dating pool is non-existent. Sure, there are a few single guys in town, but no one that Hailey can see herself settling down with. Over the years she's toyed with the idea of moving to a big city, but when it comes right down to it Whitford is "home" and she doesn't want to leave. When fate (and a poor sense of direction) throws her into the path of Game Warden Matt Barnett she sees some potential, but she's not into the rugged, outdoorsy type. And that's fine with Matt, who has no intention of getting involved with another woman who thinks he'd be "just perfect" if only he'd change a few things...like his job and his lifestyle. Now we all know what happens next - this is a `Romance' after all - but there are a few surprises along the way and I'm not going to spoil them for you.
I enjoyed this, but one thing kept nagging at me: for an otherwise intelligent woman, Hailey seemed to have her head in the clouds when it came to her idea of "Mr. Right". She loves living in a small town in rural Maine, but she doesn't care for the "outdoorsy type"? Honey, that's going to limit your options! Putting that aside, I found her to be a really likeable and relatable character. She never came across as desperate and there was no "woe is me, my clock is ticking" angst. I liked the positive portrayal of female friendships and how affirmative they can be. Of course this book is part of a series so it was great to touch bases with characters from previous installments. And Matt? Well, what can I say - the man adored his dog so he must be a great guy, right? Seriously though, Stacey writes the male point of view quite convincingly - it's one of her strong points.
Writing wise, the author know how to make her dialog sound completely natural. These people do not speak in pithy sit-com style - they have normal conversations that don't sound stilted or contrived. The story flows well, though to be completely honest there's not a lot of *story* here. There's really not much in the way of conflict, and I felt these two could have resolved their differences with one straightforward conversation. Despite a certain amount of predictability this was a pleasant, fun story and I can recommend it for those who like their Romance on the realistic side with a minimum of drama and angst.
Occasional strong language and some explicit sexual content. This is book 8 in a series and while it works fine as a standalone story, characters from previous installments do make cameo appearances.
The series (in order):
Kowalski Family (New Hampshire):
*Exclusively Yours (The Kowalskis)
*Undeniably Yours (The Kowalskis)
*Yours To Keep: Book Three of The Kowalskis
Kowalski Family (Maine):
*All He Ever Needed: Book Four of The Kowalskis
*All He Ever Desired: Book Five of The Kowalskis
*All He Ever Dreamed: Book Six of The Kowalskis
*Love a Little Sideways: Book Seven of The Kowalskis
*Taken with You: Book Eight of The Kowalskis
Yay...a new Kowalski book, even if it doesn't feature a Kowalski family member. And that's totally okay because this book was so good. I really, really loved it AND we did get to see glimpses of a lot of the Kowalski clan so it was all good.
The book starts out with Hailey out in the woods, simply miserable, with her friend. Hailey is NOT an outdoor girl...something that's pointed out right from the start. They are supposed to be on a group adventure and because of blisters, quickly get separated from their group and lost. That's where Matt comes in. Matt is a game warden, but when he finds the girls, he's actually on the last day of his two week vacation. He looks and smells like he's been in the woods for two weeks and Hailey is NOT impressed. Neither is Matt with her. He made the mistake of dating a girly girl before and that just won't work with his outdoorsy lifestyle.
Neither Hailey nor Matt can see things working between them, even with their incredible chemistry. They are both very upfront about their differing needs from a relationship, but as things progress and they become friends, it becomes harder and harder to resist that draw to each other.
I liked this book just because it showed how much about relationships...any relationship...is about compromise. You do things with your significant other because it makes them happy and if you truly care about them...you want them to be happy. It was a great "moral to the story" kind of book and I love books that have a message like that.
And like any of Shannon Stacey's books, this one featured tons of great characters, great interactions, and beautiful scenery. I loved the outdoor scenes. I enjoyed Matt's dog, Bear, and how he reacted to Hailey. I liked Hailey's girly moments and giggled through a lot of them.
Shannon Stacey definitely tops my list for contemporary romances that I like to read to escape and enjoy some happy time to myself. This is right at the top of my list for one of my favorites for her. I don't think any of them will ever replace Exclusively Youres in my heart, but this one comes darn close. I loved it!
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Hailey Genest is living her dream. Well almost her dream. She has her dream job of being the Liberian of the Whitford Library, but she is still missing her Prince Charming and the kids. She is forty, not getting any younger and wants to know where the hell her Prince is. All her friends are now married and starting families and Hailey is ready for her Prince Charming to show up already. Hailey’s dream man is a suit and tie kind of guy who enjoys the finer things in life. Or so she thought.
Matt Barnett is the new Game Warden in Whitford. Since the Kowalski family has branched out into ATV trails for their Northern Star Lodge during the summer months, he has been brought in to help the local police. Matt is your true outdoorsmen. He has been unlucky in love so far. Matt can’t seem to find a women who loves and accepts him for who he is. I mean come on, the man just wants a women to understand that when he comes home covered in mud and smelling of shi$t, that is all in a day’s work.
Hailey and Matt’s story is a wonderfully written story about how opposites can be perfect for one another. This story is filled with humor and love. We get to catch up with our favorite Whitford Kowalski’s as well as our favorite town folks. I love Fran and Rosie! Hailey and Matt have a lot to overcome. One thing I loved about this story is that yes, they are complete opposites, but how they compromise and realize they are perfect for one another is completely believable. I also enjoy reading about the relationships between the women. It makes me glad I have the group of women I have in my life. Through the good, bad and the ups and downs, they are there for each other. I am looking forward to getting Tori’s story next. I am super excited to learn more about Whitford’s resident possible serial killer Max.
Another awesome read by Shannon Stacey.
Review copy provided for an honest review.